Taxpayers Spent $1.4 BILLION on Obama Family Last YearBy Alex Pappas
Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion dollars on everything from staffing, housing, flying and entertaining President Obama and his family last year, according to the author of a new book on taxpayer-funded presidential perks.
In comparison, British taxpayers spent just $57.8 million on the royal family.
Author Robert Keith Gray writes in “Presidential Perks Gone Royal” that Obama isn’t the only president to have taken advantage of the expensive trappings of his office. But the amount of money spent on the first family, he argues, has risen tremendously under the Obama administration and needs to be reined in.
[...]Aside from a salary, the president gets a $50,000 a year expense account, a $100,000 travel account, $19,000 entertainment budget and an additional million for “unanticipated needs,” he notes.
[...]The president can to appoint high-paid staffers without Senate confirmation: Obama has 469 senior staffers and 226 are paid more than $100,000 a year, according to the book. Seventy-seven are paid as much as $172,000 per year. He also has appointed 43 “czars.”
The president can vacation for free at Camp David: Gray writes that each round trip made to Camp David costs the taxpayers $25,350. It’s also estimated that the combined transportation and personnel costs for a Camp David visit are $295,000 per night.
The president has a full-time movie projectionist in the White House theater: Projectionists sleep at the White House and are there 24 hours a day in case anyone needs to see a movie. “Compared to the 450 times President Carter used the movie theater in his four years in the White House, the average American citizen, according to industry statistics, goes out to see a movie slightly less than five times a year,” Gray writes.
The president’s family’s gets certain travel and security expenses paid while vacationing: “First Lady Michelle Obama drew flack from the media and irate citizens when it was disclosed that, not counting Saturdays and Sundays, she spent 42 days on vacation — within the span of one year.”
The president’s dog gets its own high-paid staffer: “Bo made the news when he and his handler were flown to join the president on vacation in Maine,” Gray wrote about the Obama family dog. “It has been reported that the first family’s dog handler was paid $102,000, last year.”
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